The most loved member of The Guernsey Cow community was, and still is, Willie Minor. “Our Willie” is remembered for his bicycle outfitted with horns, lights, fenders, racks, flags, and baskets heavily laden with old newspapers and many spools of string pieces knotted together with such precision that there were no ends sticking out. Even now, Willie continues this pastime where he lives in a loving home near Coatesville. The local postman provides the string for Willie.
Willie lived at The Guernsey Cow restaurant where he was employed from the early 1940s until 1994. Willie could have been dubbed Exton Ambassador for all the smiles he brought to everyone who knew him as he helped Larry and Pep make ice cream and cream caramels, washed dishes, and mowed the lawns that surrounded the restaurant and the Polite home, Sleepy Hollow Hall.
When he was not working he frequented locations that are just memories for Exton long-timers. Willie welcomed and conversed with folks at the Exton Drive-In Theater, a gas station on Route 100, the Downingtown Farmers Market, and Felix’s Farm Market.
Larry and Willie had a remarkable relationship. They enjoyed many hours in Larry’s truck running errands and working in their vegetable garden. Mrs. Polite liked to call it “Larry’s garden,” but family members knew it was primarily Willie’s back-breaking effort and so called it “Willie’s garden”. At harvest time, they would deliver tomatoes, string beans, and sweet corn to friends in the area. Willie became a sounding board for Larry who confided in him during the many hours they shared.
Contributed by Wanda Polite McGlinchey
Black & White photos provided by Kim Puliti
This is the outside cover of a menu I picked up on eBay a few years ago. I’ll follow up this week with the inside to see what’s cooking and at what prices.
Here’s the text on the back of the menu that provides some history.
Permit us to welcome you to the Guernsey Cow, whether you be a neighbor from a nearby town or city, or a guest from Maine, Florida or California. Call again, and again.
No matter where you travel, you will never find milk with a better flavor or more healthful content than that served here, from tested Guernsey Cows.
The residence on the property, to the right, is one of the oldest in this vicinity. The back part of the house was apparently built in 1685 by people who moved into this valley, following the lines of migration north from Chester no the Delaware River, the oldest settlement in Pennsylvania. About 1740 an addition was built to the original small house by a George Massey. Mr. Massey was a great friend of George Washington, and he, Mr. Washington, was a frequent visitor and guest of Mr. Massey. This information was given to us by the Historical Society of Chester County. In 1820 the front part of the house was constructed. This contains excellent examples of mantles of that period.
Well-marked roads to Valley Forge, the great shrine of American patriotism, branch to the left of Lancaster Pike as you go to Philadelphia. Near Paoli is the site of the Paoli Massacre, where the British troops surprised Mad Anthony Wayne, whose birthplace and grave are just beyond, near Devon.
Visitors from a distance will find a rather interesting trip by taking the road to West Chester, and going on to Brandywine Creek, where one of the early battles of the Revolutionary War was fought.
Visit the Guernsey Cow as often as you can. Tell your friends. Come out any time. Bring the children. They will enjoy watching the live Pheasants on the lawn.
FREE — Take this copy with you as a Souvenir of your visit to the Guernsey Cow, Exton, Pa.